BackStories » Vietnam » Two Runways From Hanoi, Saigon Airports Are Badly Damaged Without Funding for Repair

Apart from causing major bottlenecks both in the air and on the ground, overcrowding at Vietnam’s major airports have also put severe strains on the facilities’ infrastructure.

Vietnam’s aviation market is currently the third-fasting growing in the Asia-Pacific region with the internal Saigon-Hanoi route being ranked the 7th busiest in the world in 2016. It’s no wonder that Hanoi’s Noi Bai and Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat international airports are buckling under the pressure, starting with their runways.

Recently, the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) has submitted an urgent request to the Ministry of Transport for funding to repair Tan Son Nhat’s 25R/07L runway and Noi Bai’s 1B runway. Both are suffering severe damage that, if persists, could threaten flight safety, reports Tuoi Tre.

According to ACV, numerous cracks in various sizes can be spotted on the surface of the runways. The 1B runway is also experiencing pumping, a phenomenon where mud and other debris are ejected from the cracks due to water pressure from heavy rain.

All of these problems were likely the result of overuse as both airports are currently operating way over their optimal designs.

A manager from ACV told the newspaper that the 25R/07L runway was officially opened in June 2013 with a recommended usage of 55,100 landings or takeoffs in 10 years. However, as of April 2018, the runway has already been used 126,000 times, four times more than the ideal rate.

Similarly, Hanoi’s 1B runway opened in 2003 to service 10,500 uses in 20 years, but has already undertaken 284,200 flights by April 2018*.

Some aviation experts have suggested that smaller cracks could be amended late at night from midnight to 1 am when there are few flights. More serious faults might require a proper plan by involved parties including closing off the damaged runways, which might put strains on other runways.

Another problem that’s slowing down reparation efforts is finance: ACV currently doesn’t have the funding to carry out the necessary fixes.

Such cracks are not uncommon on Vietnam roads, but on runways, they pose a significant danger to aircraft as small pieces of the construction material can dislodge and get into the engine, wreaking havoc. In aviation, these particles are known as foreign object debris (FOD), which can take the form of anything from volcanic dust to metallic screws to even birds.

One of the worst catastrophes caused by FOD happened in July 2000 to Air France Flight 4590 at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport. The plane was taking off when it ran over a piece of titanium, which punctured the tire, throwing a large tire segment right into the wing. Subsequent engine failure and fire resulted in the plane crashing into a nearby hotel, killing 100 passengers, nine crew members and four people in the hotel.

[Photo via Zing]

This article originally stated April 2008 - it has been corrected to reflect the correct year.

Related Articles:

What the Future Holds for Saigon's Overcrowded Tan Son Nhat Airport

Hanoi Seeks Airport Expansion to Avoid Overcrowding

Consulting Firms From Japan, France, Vietnam to Begin Feasibility Study for Long Thanh Airport This June

Related Articles

in Vietnam

$14 Million Approved For Restoration Of Hanoi’s 112-Year-Old Long Biên Bridge

The fate of one of Vietnam’s most beloved and storied structures took another positive turn last week when the government approved a $14 million restoration package for Long Biên Bridge.

in Vietnam

'Amazing Race Vietnam' Apologizes for Challenge Harming Coral Reef

An underwater challenge during this year’s installment of The Amazing Race Vietnam is not sitting well with environmentalists.

in Vietnam

'Engaging With Vietnam' Conference Ruminates on Heritage in Huế

“Living with Heritage, (Re)Creating Heritage: Vietnam and the World” is the title of the 14th Engaging with Vietnam conference, a series of activities including academic panel discussions, keynote tal...

in Vietnam

10 Killed, Over 30 Missing in Central and Northern Vietnam as Storm Son-Tinh Brings Flash Floods

Heavy rains from storm Son-Tinh, which eventually weakened to a tropical depression, have caused flash floods and fatalities in central Vietnam.

in Vietnam

104-Year-Old Great-Great Grandmother Fights Off Robber

Taking advantage of the elderly will inevitably result in some bad karma, a lesson a Dong Nai man quickly learned after attempting to rob Vo Thi Bai, a 104-year-old woman.

in Vietnam

116-Year-Old Recognized As Vietnam's Oldest Man

The Vietnam Record Organization (VRO) has recognized 116-tear-old Y'N Dong of Đắk Nông Province as the country’s oldest man, reports Vietnam Net.

Partner Content